Girlfriend refusing to go home, parents, police STRESS!(21 Posts)
My DS aged 19 has a lovely new(ish) GF. She's 17, intelligent, speaks fluently and confidently & generally seems a really nice girl.
In common with most parents of teenagers I've given up asking questions & have learned to 'glean' information - everything that I heard about her was favourable.
So, since they've been going out for a while, I allowed her to stay last weekend - Fri night-Mon am. I assumed with her parent's permission.
This evening DS turned up at my work to ask if he & GF could have a lift home & BTW could she stay?
No problem. ......
Until about 19:00 when the police turn up on my doorstep asking for GF! She's upstairs i say - I'll go & get her.
Long discussion with GF & police (left them to it, but heard snatches - you can't help it can you?!) ending in GF agreeing with police that she will allow her mum to pick her up.
Nice policeman (father of teenagers!) took his leave from me saying that he had his doubts if she would be collected & asked if I was Ok with her staying for the night. I reassured him that she was safe here as I was in all evening & would make sure that she was looked after. He asked me not to be too hard on my son - he's a good lad he said, his heart is in the right place.
Darn I should have got that in writing! LOL!
Then I find DS & GF are leaving.
Turns out that she 'can't' go home - parents abusive etc. I'd previously gathered that her home life was 'complicated' & that Social Services had some involvement. Not her fault - no such thing as bad children only faulty parenting. - but that's another discussion! LOL!
So, I say to them both that they can't just leave as I'm responsible for GF since she's only 17 & the police had left her in my care until her parent/s can take over. She's determined - she 'cannot' go home.
I suggest that I call mum & talk to her suggesting that GF stays with me tonight in order to let the dust settle & I will undertake to get her into town tomorrow.
Mum describes her nightmare life with her wayward daughter and, (quite rightly) says that she doesn't know me. However, mum says that she can't exactly drag her daughter home, so she may as well stay with me.
Mum was very quick to agree to her staying. Mum also said that she hadn't seen or heard from her since last Friday! Why did she leave it so long before she contacted the police? I'm rather inclined to believe GF at this point.
I speak to GF & suggest that SHE (not me - I'm rung out!) ring her mum & arrange to meet her in a neutral place for a coffee rather than going straight home. I explain to GF that if she shows that she's reasonable & can be trusted that her mum may agree to her staying more often. I appeal to her and DS not to let me down.
Now I'm wondering if I've done the right thing....comments invited please
I think you have done absolutely the right thing.
I would of loved to have someone support and listen to me in the same way.
Keep the trust with her, as she may be breaking away now she is coming of age. You could potentially save her
I too think you have done the right thing.
People are usually inclined to believe the parents as they are adults and usually more reliable but if you haven't heard anything bad about her and she seems like a nice girl I would believe her too, especially if her mum waited that long to contact the police about her missing daughter.
You sound like a lovely mum and I think you handled that very well!
Thank you Guys.
However, I can't take too much credit for being a good mum. I'm trained in counselling skills, safeguarding etc. I work with young people who are 'NEET' Not in Education, Employment or Training' and claiming Benefits. Many of my 'customers', (well most of them), come from troubled families and have complex issues to overcome before they can move into Education, Employment or Training.
So it was a bit like working overtime for me(!)
However, when it's YOU who is faced with all the responsibility and decisions (I'm a lone parent), you start to wonder if you are too emotionally close and doubt yourself. So thank you for your support. I may need to come back for more help over the next few days. If you don't mind.
GF's still here, but her Social Worker knows - he put a note though the door asking her to get in touch. DS has gone all testosterone-loaded & protective. Told me that he wasn't willing to discuss the whole GF situation as I didn't know the half of it & that he was seriously angry & wanted to hurt 'someone'.
He wouldn't have listened if I'd tried to explain that I probably have a VERY good idea of the situation and that I know how to help.
DS has told me that she's not living with her parent/s but is in supported accommodation. I know the flats and there is a high level of support as generally the young people living there are regarded as very vulnerable. I think that I'm going to have to contact her accommodation and let them know that she's safe & try to work something out. I can't understand why she feels unable to return to her supported accommodation. I'm going to have to take this gently.
Lucky I have a week off work next week - I was looking forward to reading some books, doing some gardening & generally relaxing.
Hey-ho, such is the life of a mother. with gritted teeth!
You're going to be sucked in and spat out. She needs to go back to her supported accommodation before she loses it and you get her permanently.
I understand you feel a bit like a night in shining armour and there is a slim chance it could be fine and her and your son will settle and pop out a couple of sprogs which I'm sure you will be happy to house as well but there's a more larger chance that this will turn into a headache and that's not even looking at if they split up.
Good luck though I'm sure you know what you're doing.
Gamerchick is right. My daughter's friend lived in supported accommodation and she couldn't just go off and do whatever she wanted. That's the whole point of it!
Thanks Gamerchick -
I'm also worried about getting sucked into something that I don't need. I'm more concerned that DS is feeling like the Knight in Shining Armour. I understand that this young lady has issues and that she needs to get back to the professionals who are paid to support her!
As for 'offspring' OMG! My 3rd biggest fear about this whole event
No1 they run away together & I have police searching every corner of my <large with 2 attics full of cr*p> house!
No2 is she's 18 in 3 weeks - they can marry,
I've spoken to DS about contraception in no uncertain terms. I said that if they are having sex they are making babies unless they do something to stop that happening. If they don't do anything IT WILL HAPPEN! I've bought online a jiffy bag of 'jonnies' for DS. I can do no more. If I refuse to allow them to be in the same room, they will 'do it' somewhere else - possibly somewhere where there are drugs/drink & no condoms!
I've offered GF the spare room if she would prefer & explained to DS that she may prefer to have some space. He's agreed.
But I am going to contact her accommodation tomorrow am, if I don't get any luck there I'm going to contact SS as I don't feel that I can deal with this. I'm also concerned that DS is getting sucked into a situation where he's the Knight in Shining Armour.
Thank you for your support.
You are actually in the middle of my worst nightmare tbh. My teen is so much a night in shining armour type and so kind it hurts my head.
Quite honestly I'm not sure what to suggest. You cant give full verbal support or he'll offer her the world and if you cant deliver the picture he has in his head he may go over yours,
Unless she's on the implant or some such the baby thing would be right at the top of my list of worries than running away, they're a bit too old to run away.
The staying at yours thing I would use the supported housing being a gateway to council house so wouldn't it be better not to risk losing it angle to both of them. Or something like that.
I would also be asking the son when he was alone as part of conversation what picture he has in his head about his relationship and his future to give you a better picture of what's going on in his head.
However saying all of that you sound much bigger hearted than me. There are some who embrace the troubled teens thing and things end up ok. I just want to urge caution, you have a side of a story and her mother might be at the end of her tether after years of a tricky teen. You just have to read some threads on here that sometimes it just happens and the parents aren't at fault as their kids would have you believe.
Hello and a big THANK YOU to you all for your advice and support.
It seems that GF is not yet in supported accommodation, my mistake. When they said ‘has a place in’ I heard ‘lives in’ It seems that she’s on the waiting list for this accommodation.
GF did meet her mother on Weds & returned home on Thursday am, had tea at our house on Friday & went home on the last bus. Sat late afternoon her mother, went against the agreement & left GF alone with her step father.
We live in a small town about 14 miles from a small(ish) city. DS got the bus to collect her.
Cut a long story short, we’ve had a rather pleasant and productive weekend.
DS is a chef & only too pleased to be able to show off his skills!
So we’ve enjoyed some nice relaxed meals where we’ve been able to talk.
I’ve explained that I can advise and feed her, but that I have a potential conflict between my professional & personal life and can’t support her beyond that. I explained that it's probable that I know her Social Worker because we have clients in common. She understood immediately & was quick to agree that things could get very messy. She's agreed that she can't stay more than a couple of nights a week.
She has also agreed that the only way to get herself out of her step father’s house ASAP is to work with her social workers rather than avoid them.
However, her idea of 'work with' isn't what I would describe as 'work with'
She said that they don’t worry about the ones who patiently wait – the ones who give them bother are the ones who get priority. So, she's going to call the Out of Hours service everytime her mother breaches the agreement - and she will tell them that she is in immediate danger &, if she doesn't get a response within 15 mins, she will have no choice but to dial 999.
I couldn’t argue that that could I? We all know that's true
DS still sees that he's the only one who's looking out for her. In a way he's right. She says that she rang Social Services 1 hour before DS (& I have no reason to disbelieve her) after she had locked herself into her bedroom after finding herself alone in the house with her abuser. Social Services did nothing – no-one has rung to ask if she was OK. I rang their emergency line to tell them that she was with me in case anyone was interested. No-one has contacted me since. I could be anyone - they don't know me!
But she knows that she has to leave here tomorrow. She also knows that she’s welcome to stay next weekend if she wishes.
Thanks again for your interest. X
Poor girl and good on you for providing at least someone she can trust. WTF is the mother on - who would put an abusive man before their DD? I don't blame her for wanting to ring SS every single time - the mother needs to be put in the shit (if anyone will care). Unfortunately, even at nearly 18, you can still feel very young and vulnerable. Your DS is obviously a lovely and daring young man, even if he may be a bit idealistic! Good luck with it all.
You are great. My mum was neglectful and I moved out at 15. I would have been very lucky to have someone like you around.
Thank you Musicposy - I think that DS is both caring and daring(!) EG: he dares to care.
I'm sorry to hear that you had to leave home at 15 Justonemorebeer - far, far too young!
It's a crying shame that GF's education has been damaged by this. She's a clever girl who should be looking forward to going to university this Autumn. By some miracle she's managed to pass 6 GCES's - including English, biology, IT & maths all at grade B! If I have anything to do with it she will be going to college to do her A'levels!
I'm so proud of DS - he's growing up to be the kind, sensitive, caring man that I'd hoped that he would. He's likely to get his heart broken, but at least he will know that he'd done the Right Thing.
You've done the right thing. I'd be letting her stay a while but I'm a total sap (also have older teenagers, it's hard I know). Well done.
It's ok Voice, I never considered it a good home anyway. I got out by doing long housesitting stints for posh people with cats. As soon as my 16th bday hit I was renting a flat with a friend paid for by my part time earnings and college EMA money. Been renting ever since.
Well done Justonemorebeer!
You knew what your goal was & didn't let anything stand in your way! I admire your strength & resilience
I really feel for young people these days. It seems that only the bad stuff gets publicity & people feel that they can discriminate against young people in a way that they wouldn't be allowed to discriminate against any other section of society.
I see teenagers patiently queuing outside the shop near the Community College at 16:30 (many of them buying milk etc to take home for their parents) because they won't allow more than 2 of them in at a time. Can you imagine the fuss if a shop had a sign saying 'No more than 2 pensioners allowed at a time'?
For some reason the 'system' considers that under 25 year olds can buy food etc for less than over 25's & allow them a lower Nat Min Wage. There seems to be an assumption that all young people have homes and families that are both willing and able to help them out!
No wonder many of the young people that I meet (DS included) feel that there is no point in voting. The politicians aren't speaking to them.
However, they won't be under 25 for ever - then what kind of citizens will we have we created?!
Oh Dear - I've started to go off on one!
A topic for another thread maybe?
You keep going girl - reach for it - you deserve it! <hugs>
Thanks so much. That's more encouragement than my own Mum has given me in 29 years!!
Speaking from experience, she is 100% right that they don't bother with the quiet children who aren't causing problems. In my experience (and I'm a sw) sometimes kids in care who aren't causing problems often get left in the wayside by their sw because they don't think they have to worry about them.
It means often when the young person needs something from their sw they get ignored. Obviously not every sw is like this but it is common.
Hello again Justonemorebeer.
I'm saddened by your mum's lack of support for you.
You sound like a daughter to be proud of.
You left home at 15, lived independently and then supported yourself whilst furthering your education.
I'm proud of you! You are an example to others who have the misfortune to have parents who are unwilling or unable to support them.
As a result your mother doesn't have a relationship with her grown-up daughter.
My mum & me often meet up for lunch, watch movies & go to art exhibitions etc that my husband & my father would find dull.
That's your mother's loss! I'm sure that you have no end of friends who you can go to for support. <hugs> for you.
I really feel for SWs.
You're damned if you do, damned if you don't.
Your caseloads are often so big that sometimes you can only effectively help your most 'needy' clients.
Down here in the 'Darkest South West' SW often have to travel long distances to reach their clients. How many clients can you 'cover' if you have to drive for 2 hours to get to your first & your 2nd is back in the 'city' - another 2 hours travelling time.
I can see that you have no choice but to assume, that if you don't hear anything from them, or about them, that you can just continue with your regular 'staying in touch' phone calls and prioritise your most 'urgent' cases. These will always have to be the ones who are causing problems - especially if they're involving other agencies eg: the Police, Local Authority, school, NHS etc.
Everyone cries: 'What are Social Services doing? - why haven't they done anything?'
The Buck stops with you.
Besides this you have targets, senior management who come from 'business' and have never worked at the front end and are only interested in their financial spread sheets. Then there are the Courts who demand attendance, for hours, but often only need you for 10 minutes - not at all!
Well done you! Until this broken society starts to deal with the real social problems of poor education, poor housing, impoverished families etc it needs Social Workers!
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